If there’s one game that’s synonymous with slots and the famous NetEnt software house, it’s the irrepressible Gonzo’s Quest.
After all, this well-designed, five by three-reel slot has remained enduringly popular since its launch in 2011 and was also NetEnt’s first-ever platinum game!
At the heart of this slot’s popularity is its narrative, which is focused on the famous conquistador and explorer Gonzalo Pizzaro. As the reel grid spins, you’ll join him on his incredible adventure to the Peruvian ruins, helping him to navigate his way through the Amazonian jungle to uncover the city of lost gold (and some memorable coin wins too!).
As for the gameplay, there’s 20 fixed paylines available across the five reels. However, NetEnt don’t use the standard spinning reel set for this slot, dumping this in favour of Avalanche reels that see symbols fall from above to forge base game winning combinations.
This makes for a truly eye-catching spectacle and the high quality of the three-dimensional graphics and animation is more than matched by the variance level of the game.
Make no mistake; players of Gonzo’s Quest must be prepared for some relatively sparse base game returns as they pursue a maximum win of 187,500 coins, although a proven return-to-player (RTP) rate of 96% suggests that there’s every opportunity to recoup your bankroll over a sustained period of time.
The biggest wins are reserved for the game’s exciting bonus rounds, which introduce free spins, 15-times multipliers and animated wilds that carve out unexpected winning combinations!
For those of you with an even greater thirst for adventure, you should know that there’s also a VR-inspired version of Gonzo’s Quest now available online. In fact, this was the first slot to be reinvented for VR headsets such as Oculus Rift and Samsung Gear, and this has only served to reinforce the legendary nature of this iconic game!
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No matter how keen you are to embark on your Amazonian adventure with Gonzalo, you’ll need to get to grips with the gameplay before you start wagering your hard-earned cash.
This process starts by setting your individual stake per spin, as it’s important to manage your bankroll carefully.
Initially, you’ll look to set your coin value, by toggling between a minimum of 0.01 and a maximum of 0.5 on the base game screen. Then, you’ll choose the amount of coins you’d like to stake per payline, between one and five depending on your outlook and bankroll.
You’ll then decide how many of the 20 paylines you want to activate, creating a total stake for each individual spin. If you choose to activate all 20 paylines, the minimum stake per spin is £0.20, using a coin value of 0.01 and the minimum number of coins on each line (1).
Conversely, high-rollers can select the optimal coin value of 0.5 and stake 5 coins per payline, creating a total stake of £50!
At the highest stake, the maximum win available during the base game is a whopping 2,500-times your initial stake, which is triggered when you land five of the Mayan God symbols on an active payline.
Gonzo’s Quest – Feature 1: Avalanche
We’ve already touched on the unique and spectacular nature of Gonzo’s Quest, and the eye-catching Avalanche Feature is central to this.
It’s also incredibly similar to the so-called ‘Tumbling Reels’ feature in Da Vinci Diamonds, which was launched by software house IGT after Gonzo’s Quest in January 2012.
During the Avalanche Reels feature, the game’s carved Mayan symbols will tumble down from the top of the screen, whilst these visually-impressive blocks will then stack one on top of the other to form various winning combinations.
These symbols then explode and disappear with each spin, before the remaining symbols will fall into the gaps to create a full reel set once again!
So long as you keep landing new winning combinations, the Avalanche feature will continue indefinitely, whilst the base game’s win multiplier will increase incrementally with every single payout.
The multiplier metre is positioned in the top right-hand corner of the screen, and you’ll notice the value increase from one-times up to five-times your stake as you continue to land winning combos.
In total, multipliers during this phase of the game can be one, two, three or five-times your stake, although they won’t increase any higher than this regardless of how many winning combinations are forged.
These multipliers can really boost your bankroll during the base game
Gonzo’s Quest Feature 2 – Wild Symbols
Gonzo’s Quest is also a game that features a functional wild symbol, which assumes the form of a grey-coloured Mayan stone with a striking, yellow question mark.
This symbol is animated, whilst it can also appear at random during both the base game and the slot’s bonus rounds. Unlike with most slot games, the wild symbol here can substitute for all other icons, including the golden free fall scatter which triggers the lucrative free spins round (we’ll have a little more on this below).
This symbol appears on reels two, three and four, and it has the potential to forge significant winning combinations throughout the game. This will also bring multipliers in excess of five-times your stake, increasing the return that you’re able to generate from your bankroll.
We spoke earlier about Gonzo’s Quest free spins round, which is known colloquially as ‘Free Falls’ due to the unique nature of the reels.
This bonus is triggered when you land three or more of the aforementioned free fall symbols on a single payline, at which stage you’ll be instantly awarded with at least 10 free spins!
However, you can double this in instances where you’re able to land three or more free fall symbols simultaneously on two unique paylines, so this is definitely something to keep your eyes peeled for against an immersive and animated background!
Whilst Gonzo makes his way through a gateway and inches towards the shining golden pyramid in the background, you’ll deploy your free spins in the quest for lucrative winning combinations and three, six, nine and 15-times multipliers.
During this round, you can also re-trigger the bonus to land more free spins, once again by securing three or more free fall symbols across one or more paylines.
Whilst you won’t want this feature to come to an end, this does at least trigger another fun and eye-catching animation that transports you back to the base game screen!
We’ve already talked fleetingly about the bet limits during the tutorial, but it’s important to understand these in detail before finalising your wagering strategy.
In simple terms, the wagering limits are fixed at £0.20 and £50 per spin, creating a wide and diverse betting range that’s typical of all mid or high-variance slots.
These stakes are determined simply by setting individual coin values, before deciding how many coins you want to bet across a fixed number of active paylines.
But how do these limits impact on your payouts? Well, let’s say that you land five of the highest paying Mayan symbols during the base game. If you did this whilst betting the lowest amount of £0.20 per single stake, you’d multiply this by 2,500-times and bank a total of 500 coins.
Conversely, this winning combination will pay out a staggering 125,000 coins if you’ve staked the maximum amount of £50, which is an incredible return on a moderate to high bet. This is the maximum payout available during the base game, and it’s certainly typical of a high variance slot that really rewards players who love to stake high amounts!
Even landing three of the highest paying Mayan symbols would pay out at 50-times your stake, meaning a return of 10 coins at the lowest value bet £0.20.
High-rollers will bank an impressive 2,500 coins with the same winning combination, however, and whilst these wins may be relatively sporadic their size more than compensates for this.
|Bet Level 1|
Minimum Stake: €0.20
Maximum Stake: €10
|Bet Level 2|
Minimum Stake: €0.40
Maximum Stake: €20
|Bet Level 3|
Minimum Stake: €0.60
Maximum Stake: €30
|Bet Level 4|
Minimum Stake: €0.80
Maximum Stake: €40
|Bet Level 5|
Minimum Stake: €1.00
Maximum Stake: €50
This leads us neatly onto the maximum win, which, as mentioned, is 125,000 coins during the base game.
This is available when you land five of the grey-blue and yellow infused Mayan symbols on a single payline, so long as you’ve staked the maximum amount of £50.
Even this healthy payout pales in comparison with the free spins jackpot of 187,500 coins, however, which is available thanks to the presence of 15-times multipliers during the bonus round.
Make no mistake; if you stake the maximum amount of £50 on a single spin and land five more of the highest paying Mayan symbols, you’ll bank a hefty 187,500 coins whilst enjoying everything that a free spin round has to offer!
Gonzo’s Quest On Mobile
Despite the fact that Gonzo’s Quest will turn eight this year, it has continued to benefit from a number of recurring software updates.
Aside from the development of a VR-version of this beloved slot, the latest update in 2018 ensured that the game was compatible with instant play platforms and powered by HTML5 software.
This means that the game can be accessed seamlessly through both desktop and mobile browsers, without the need to download any accompanying software.
So, even if you’re playing Gonzo’s Quest at a casino that doesn’t operate native apps on Android or iOS, you can still access the slot with the minimum of fuss.
Our Xpert Review
Few games are as seminal as Gonzo’s Quest, which has become a standard-bearer for themed slots and a title that is renowned in iGaming markets across the globe.
It’s also a slot that has endured really well since its launch in 2011, with its superb theme, outstanding animation and exceptional gameplay combining to attract both casual and serious players alike.
Gonzo’s Quest also strikes an unusual balance in the slot gaming world, as it melds high-variance gameplay and lucrative winning combinations with an RTP rate of 96%.
This means that players can simultaneously pursue large base game wins whilst also recouping a relatively sizable chunk of their bankroll, and this provides a far greater risk-reward ratio over extended periods of gameplay.
Gonzo’s Quest has also benefitted from significant updates in recent times, ensuring that the slot is compatible with instant play platforms and mobile gaming.
Ultimately, despite being more than eight years old it remains one of the most popular titles included in the vast NetEnt library.